The Student Guide To UK Pride Festival Events 2023

June is Pride Month and there are events to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community throughout the UK.

If you are searching for Pride Events 2023, we’re here to help you find the best parties, parades, and celebrations for the month of June.

Pride month celebrates diversity, it celebrates the right to live how you choose to without discrimination, a push for equal rights for all.

It is an important month, raising awareness of the serious issues that the LGBTQIA+ community face daily.

There are millions of pride events worldwide every year, so let’s take a look at the history and importance of pride and which pride events 2023 sing to you in particular in the UK!

pride events 2023

The History of Pride Month

Pride month is in June, as this is the anniversary month of The Stonewall Riots.

The Stonewall Riots were a series of demonstrations that were held against oppression in response to violent New York City raids on LGBTQIA+ establishments in June 1969.

Stonewall is considered a pivotal moment in the fight for LGBTQIA+ civil rights, and as a result, pride is celebrated every June the world over.

Pride marches have been active for over 50 years now.

It is born out of activism, and it is easy to take this for granted and to just see the celebration and the creativeness that goes into every pride march and performance and forget why pride was first needed, and why it is still so important each year.

Pride month is a great time to remember why marches are important and to celebrate the pioneers of pride in the past.

The History of Pride Month pride events 2023

The History Of Pride In The UK

Below is a brief rundown of the key historical markers for pride in the UK.

UK’s First Open Public Gay Rights Demonstration

In 1970 the first ever open, public gay rights demonstration in the country took place in Highbury Fields, North London.

Around 150 men from the Gay Liberation Front marched against harassment by the police.

UK's First Open Public Gay Rights Demonstration  

UK’S First Official Pride March

In 1972 the first official Pride march took place on 1st July in London, as close as possible to the Stonewall Riots anniversary.

It was a highly political event that was heavily policed, with a turnout of around 1000-2000 people.

It was one of the first pride events to take place outside of the US, along with Toronto.

UK'S First Official Pride March 

Huddersfield Pride 81

1981 saw a shift in focus towards discrimination by the police, following repeated raids of a gay night club, The Gemini, in Huddersfield.

The main pride in the UK that year was hosted in Huddersfield, to show support.

Huddersfield Pride 81 

Pride renamed Lesbian and Gay Pride

To incorporate a wider range of people, Pride was renamed Lesbian and Gay Pride in 1983.

Pride renamed Lesbian and Gay Pride 

LGBTQ+ Community Comes Together To Highlight The HIV/AIDS Pandemic

The LGBTQ+ community came together in 1987 to bring attention to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, looking to raise awareness to the wider public with the pride events that year.

LGBTQ+ Community Comes Together To Highlight The HIV/AIDS Pandemic

Section 28

1988 was an important year, as Thatcher’s Conservative administration brought into force Section 28, banning the ‘promotion of homosexuality’ and criminalising the discussion of gay issues in schools.

It brought mass protest and marches across the country.

Section 28 Thatcher

Northern Ireland’s First Pride

The first pride was held in Northern Ireland in 1991.

Northern Ireland's First Pride 

Pride Became Known As Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride

Another change took place in 1996 as the event became known as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride.

The event evolved into more than just a political march, adding a carnival, and became the biggest music festival in Europe.

Pride Became Known As Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride

First UK Black Pride

2005 saw the first UK Black Pride held, promoting a safe space of belonging for people of colour, growing to become the largest event of its kind in Europe.

First UK Black Pride 

First Trans Pride Event

The first Trans Pride event took place in the UK in 2013 in Brighton, with around 450 people in attendance.

It was a ground-breaking event for the transgender community.

In 2019 this evolution of Trans Pride could be seen with the first London Trans Pride march with over 1,500 people attending.

First Trans Pride Event 

UK Pride Events 2023

There are loads of great pride events throughout the UK this year.

The British LGBTQIA+ crowd always know how to get together to party, to protest, and to celebrate their communities.

The Pride march in London is one of the biggest in the whole world, attracting around 1.5 million people.

There are also over 130 prides across the UK, making it a special occasion for the community every year.

It just keeps getting bigger, better, and more widespread.

Here are a few of the best pride listings for this year.

UK Pride Events 2023

1. Pride Classical

At the start of pride month, Pride Classical in Manchester promises to be a stunning spectacle.

At the Bridgewater Hall on the 2nd June and the Tower Ballroom on the 3rd June, RuPaul’s Drag Race winner, Danny Beard, will host a night celebrating 50 years of music.

Expect disco stars, drag queens and divas coming to life with a live orchestra!

There will be nothing else like it this year.



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2. Homotopia

Liverpool has always been home to a thriving LGBTQIA+ community that is open, welcoming, and puts on creative events.

In November, Liverpool comes alive with the Homotopia Festival, the longest running LGBTQIA+ arts and culture festival.

Dance, theatre, visual arts, workshops, discussions, and family-friendly events all come together from trans and queer creatives during a showstopping festival.



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3. Brighton Pride

One of the largest pride events in the UK this year, and every year, is down on the south coast in Brighton.

From the 2nd of August until the 7th August, with a big event on the 5th and 6th, Brighton Pride promises a full event schedule of expression and celebration from the LGBTQIA+ community.

In those middle two days at Preston Park, international music stars will take to the stage to perform for the crowds as part of the Fabuloso pride fundraising festival, including Black Eyed Peas and Steps!

A big celebratory parade and village party will also take place, bringing the vibrant crowds together.


4. Manchester Pride

August Bank Holiday is Manchester Pride, and it is always a fantastic place to be.

It has been running in one form or another since 1985 and is one of the longest running in the country.

There is the traditional candlelit vigil at Sackville Gardens to commemorate those who have lost their lives to HIV, alongside the marching parade through Canal Street, and the Gay Village Party.

Live music, parades, and moments of reflection bring together one of the best pride events in the whole of the UK.



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5. Birmingham Pride

The main stage at Birmingham Pride will have a runway this year, alongside the dance arena and the cabaret stage.

This makes it all set for a drag talent extravaganza, with a plethora of cabaret performers to boot.

The future stage is set for a whole host of live bands and local music, shouting from the rooftops about the talent that Birmingham has to offer.


6. Pride In London

Financial support has been confirmed by London City Hall for the next five years, securing Pride in London for a few years to come.

It gets bigger, brighter, and better every single year, and expect 2023 to be no different.

On the 1st of July the capital will come to life with a huge pride parade in the city.

With extravagant floats, dancers and performers along the parade route from Hyde Park Corner to Whitehall Place, with over 500 groups and 30,000 participants, it is a sight like no other.



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7. Bi Pride UK

Bi Pride UK will take place this year on Saturday 2nd September, celebrating attraction beyond gender.

It is a celebratory and educational event in London that includes great food, Q&As with inspirational speakers, live music acts and more.

It is a celebration of all those who fall between gay and straight on the spectrum.

After the success of last year, the event at The People’s Palace, Mile End will be both a live in-person event and streamed online to those who cannot attend.



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8. Pride Cymru

The 17th and 18th June brings Pride Cymru to the streets of Cardiff once more.

Around 50,000 people take part in the parade through the streets of the Welsh capital, a family-friendly event that market stalls selling food and drink, dance and performance.

The volunteer-led charity is proud of the work it does in the Welsh community and the parade and event around the beautiful Cardiff Castle includes 3 stages of music.

Performances include Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Youngr, Claire Richards, and the Dolly Parton Experience.

Pride Cymru is well known for its high level of accessibility for dead and disabled attendees, marking it out as an inclusive celebration.



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9. Black Pride

Black Pride will return to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this year on 20th August after a successful 2022 that saw over 25,000 take part in the protest and party.

It has been running for 18 years now, the largest celebration for Asian, African, Middle Eastern, Latin American and Caribbean-heritage LGBTQIA+ people.

Alongside the live music acts, there will also be community stalls, performances, and workshops to take in.



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Wherever you are based as a student, Pride promises to be as big an event as ever this year. Is there any of the pride events 2023 that are close to your student home?

Do you plan on attending or putting on any pride events this year? Pride is a big celebration for the LGBTQIA+ community, with live events including a wide range of artists, musicians, comedians, and much more.

You’ll see live events of all kinds, performances, workshops, talks, big parties, and parades. Pride month 2023 promises to be bigger than ever before!

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